It was a cold morning in Canberra when ACRF super-fundraiser departed on what would be one of the most gruelling journeys of his life.
His solo walk back to his home in the lower Blue Mountains brought back old injuries and painful memories, as he took step after step – some 400 thousand of them – in honour of his late wife Danielle.
But it also brought him hope.
David’s 400 Thousand Steps Walk (320km) was an inspirational cancer fundraising event that resulted out of a heartbreaking loss. His wife Danielle died from a rare and very aggressive head cancer in 2011. David has therefore made an ongoing commitment to raise funds for world class cancer research and, together with the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, help to prevent other families from going through this pain.
It was the memory of Danielle that stopped him from giving up on one of his last days on the road – Silverdale to Penrith.
“That was probably my darkest day,” David said. “As soon as I started my ankle was hurting. But I thought to myself, ‘you saw first-hand the pain Danielle went through and this is nothing compared to that’.”
David covered his final kilometres, fittingly, on Father’s Day. His three children were waiting with anticipation for their Dad to come home from his 11 day journey and they joined him as he crossed the finish line.
The streets along Blaxland were lined with family, friends and neighbours cheering David and his children on. Being a local police officer, David also received a police escort for the home stretch.
David’s daughter Grace said she had “really missed Dad’s bad jokes”.
David concluded, “It has been emotionally charged, especially the last few days [but] it’s great to be back, it’s the best Father’s Day ever.”
When David left for his walk, starting at Parliament House on August 22, ACT Senator The Hon. Kate Lundy joined his farewell party, calling him “a true inspiration” for embarking on a “remarkable journey”.
We couldn’t agree more. Not only has David raised almost $20,000 for cancer research through this incredible solo walk, he continues to support other ACRF initiatives such as our Partner in the Cure regular donation program, community sporting events, and speaking engagements.
David’s generosity, support and dedication to our work at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation is extremely humbling; he is a true Ambassador and we very much appreciate his support.